Urban Meyer said something that made people on Twitter dot com pretty outraged today. To try and look at that particular talking point holistically, we've taken the liberty of transcribing the entire segment from his weekly call-in show on 97.1 The Fan in Columbus to better understand what he was getting at. The entire exchange was as follows:
[Ohio State fan calling in] Tom: "Hey coach, How you guys doing, first off? And second, basically, with J.T. Barrett and the Braxton Miler situation, how hard is it for you to go out and pick up a top notch quarterback, to recruit a top notch quarterback at this point in time? And do we have anybody on the horizon that you're trying to bring in that is, you know, like a Top 10 quarterback?"
Urban Meyer: "Well, there's always guys on the horizon. That's never going to change. You know, that's the one position that's so unique in all of sport, especially for what we do, and the quarterbacks I've been fortune to be around, I mean it's a who's who now.
And J.T. is doing a very nice job and so, I think, to answer your question, which I think is a very good question about 'does a young quarterback really want to come in and maybe...'
But I think the timing is pretty good though, too. You have an older player, I mean obviously Braxton only has one more year left and J.T., I believe, after this year, I guess has he three, right? He has three years left.
Those conversations come up and that will come up but you know I kind of like the quarterback[s like] when I recruited Tim Tebow there wasn't any conversations about any one else on our roster. You know, he had so much confidence in himself he said 'I don't care who you had, I'm going to beat him out.' And same thing when I had a chat with Percy Harvin. Not one time did he ask, "Hey are you going to throw me the ball?" If you're a great player, you're a great player, and that's [what] I love, there's only a few of them out there like that.
But when I walk into a kid's home nothing comes up about depth charts or how many backers do you have, how many defensive ends, 'will I play'? Those are red flags to me. Well it's not red flags, it means they're normal. It's the abnormal ones I like to be around. Like, 'I don't give a darn who you have, I'm going to beat them out and be the best quarterback you've ever had, coach.' Those are the ones I shake their hands and say 'let's go do it', because those are the ones that have a lot of confidence."
Urban Meyer Call-In Show co-host Jim Lachey: "And those guys, obviously recruiting, you know, it never stops. I know the quarterback down in Athens [Joe Burrow] that you're recruiting had a big game over the weekend. I know [Torrance] Gibson is, I know you can't say abny names, is a guy that's on your radar and has been to campus and is excited about Ohio State. So it never stops. You're recruiting All-American, All-State guys at every position every year."
Urban Meyer: "Well, we, the unique thing we can sell is our offense has had more first rounders, I think [us and] Florida State, we've had 3 first rounders come popping out out of our offense. We've had two Heisman trophy winners -- well I count Cam Newton because he was with us for a couple of years -- but you look at starting with Josh Harris, who was a Heisman candidate at Bowling Green. You go with Alex Smith who was a No. 1 overall pick and a Heisman finalist. Then we went at Chris Leak, a great football player, a national champion, an All-American player for us. Then Tim Tebow, Heisman Trophy winner, first round draft pick. Then you've got Braxton Miller, Big Ten player of the year two years in a row. And then J.T. Barrett is number three in the country in pass efficiency. I mean, that's called testimony.
You know I tell the kids in recruiting there's a lot of theory, a lot of staffs will say 'we hope we really develop a good quarterback, we haven't done it yet', where we can say that everyone who's ever played for us has been developed."
Of course, in full context, it isn't a whole lot different than anyone else's selling of their program. But if you're really dying to give Meyer's talking points the full Media Matters treatment, line by line, there are some other embellishments or inconsistencies ripe for the taking:
- Josh Harris received no Heisman Trophy votes in 2003
- Chris Leak was likely no better than honorable mention All-American at most major outlets
- J.T. Barrett is actually fourth in the country in pass efficiency not third
- Given John Brantley, clearly not every quarterback who played for Meyer has 'been developed', or panned out as intended
Was Cam Newton a finished product in Urban Meyer's system? No. He was there longer than any other stop until he got to the NFL, and while it undoubtedly played a role in his evolution as a football player, he didn't reach the peak of his powers until he was inserted into Gus Malzahn's offense (which while perhaps of the same tree as Meyer's, is arguably even more favorable to Newton's abilities).
Of course as these things are wont to do, it won't make you any less Twitter angry. But that's not going to make Urban Meyer sell it to five-star quarterbacks during bye weeks any less.